Tags: stamps | increase | three | cents

Regulator's OK Will Raise First-Class Stamp Price 3 Cents

Tuesday, 24 Dec 2013 09:31 PM

 

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
The U.S. Postal Service's regulator has approved price increases amounting to 6 percent on most mail, a step the service's board called a "last resort" forced by Congress' failure to pass cost-cutting legislation.

A first-class stamp will cost 49 cents, up from 46 cents, starting Jan. 26.

Similar changes will apply to magazines, bills, and advertising mail. The increases of 4.3 percent approved Tuesday are on top of the 1.7 percent, an amount equal to inflation, approved last month.

The Postal Regulatory Commission, in a 2-1 vote, rejected a Postal Service request to make the higher rates permanent, saying they will probably need to end in less than two years. The increase is designed to boost revenue by $1.8 billion a year to make up for losses during the economic downturn in 2008 and 2009, the order says.

"The Postal Service is disappointed in the Postal Regulatory Commission's split decision to limit the duration of a modest exigent rate increase," Roy Betts, a postal service spokesman, said in an email.

The Postal Service, which is supposed to fund its operations through postage sales, can't increase prices by more than the inflation rate without the regulator's blessing.

The commission disagreed with the postal service's argument that it had lost $6.6 billion in revenue from the recession. Some of the decline has been owing to the growth of Internet-based communications as a substitute for mail, which the service isn't allowed to make up through price increases, it found.

The Postal Service's revenue from the increase beyond inflation will be limited to $2.8 billion, according to the commission.

"The commission's decision closely follows the law we are charged by the president and Congress to uphold," Chairman Ruth Goldway said in an emailed statement.

The Time publishing unit of Time Warner Inc. and a trade group representing financial institutions, including Bank of America Corp., were among large mailers opposing the increase request.

The New York-based Association of Magazine Media trade group, in an email, called the decision counterproductive and harmful to the postal service's long-term prospects.

"It will drive more customers away from using the Postal Service and will have ripple effects through our economy – hurting consumers, forcing layoffs, and impacting businesses," Mary Berner, president of the group, said in the email. "It doesn't delay the inevitable but will hasten it."

The group is considering a court challenge, Berner said.

The Postal Service, which lost $5 billion in the 2013 fiscal year ended Sept. 30, is trying to close its budget gap with cost cuts and revenue increases.

Postal management has few options to make large-scale cost cuts without changes the U.S. Congress must allow, the board said in September. Such measures in the U.S. House and Senate are stalled.

Postal unions last week said they oppose a legislative compromise proposed by Sen. Tom Carper, a Delaware Democrat, that would allow the service to end Saturday mail delivery if volume continues to decrease.

The service's board in September asked the regulatory commission for permission to raise prices by more than the inflation rate, repeating a 2010 request the regulator rejected.


 

© Copyright 2014 Bloomberg News. All rights reserved.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Man in Dallas With Ebola Initially Sent Home With Antibiotics

Wednesday, 01 Oct 2014 08:27 AM

A man with Ebola in Dallas was initially sent home from the hospital with antibiotics after seeking treatment for an unk . . .

Derek Jeter Launches site to Connect Athletes to Fans

Wednesday, 01 Oct 2014 08:18 AM

Derek Jeter was one of the world's most covered athletes in media during his 20-season career with the New York Yankees. . . .

Glaxo's Ebola Vaccine, Rejected by WHO, Now Best Hope Amid Outbreak

Wednesday, 01 Oct 2014 07:28 AM

The calls started coming in August to the office of GlaxoSmithKline Plc Chief Executive Officer Andrew Witty from the he . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved